Exclusive view of Linear TV’s Stellar 2021 Year in Canada – a ThinkTV Webinar


Author: Darrick Li, SMI Managing Director, Canada
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On January 26, 2022, Standard Media Index collaborated with ThinkTV Canada on a webinar to kick-off the 2022 year with the first exclusive view into TV Ad Spending in Canada. In this session attended by 470 professionals across marketing and advertising, ThinkTV Canada began by presenting an overview of “TV today” and debunked some myths that surround the industry as it relates to commercial TV. Nlogic’s President and COO, David Phillips then followed by presenting their newest solution, Catalyst, a real-time TV attribution, analytics, and performance management tool. Finally, Darrick Li, Managing Director at Standard Media Index, presented an in-depth analysis into the strong TV advertising year witnessed in Canada.

The presentation demonstrates the growth and strengths of Linear TV along with analysis into its share of the overall media mix, conventional / specialty nuances, and the advertising categories that leveraged Linear TV in 2021.

View the full video below and skip to 25:10 to catch the start of the SMI presentation.

Linear TV Rebounds Strong

The Canadian ad market has endured a whirlwind over the last 22 months and the TV medium was no exception. Tuning audiences fluctuated, supply of new programming fell, and rates were impacted by ratings differently across different program genres. But in 2021, the large Canadian national advertisers came back strong, spending over $2 Billion on Linear TV, just shy of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019. This was sustained growth too as TV has seen 10 consecutive months of growth versus 2020 and 6 consecutive months of growth versus 2019.

Looking specifically at the second half of 2021, where we normalize some of the pandemic-related irregularities in spending (that is, changes to live Sports programming), the Top 5 TV media owners documented +25% growth in revenues, the next 5 Independent TV media owners acknowledged +45% growth in revenues, and the long-tail of TV media owners saw a +26% growth in revenues versus the same period in 2020. A truly remarkable rebound across the board but most notably for the independent TV media owners as it shows advertisers’ support of local and independently-owned media and how they still play a role in the Canadian market.

Across twelve advertising categories, there were more that leaned into TV versus Digital, demonstrated through the use of an Index scale. Restaurants in particular, were 117 percent more likely to advertise on TV than on Digital media. For broadcasters and TV media owners, this shows an opportunity to both drive incremental dollars from advertisers that already lean into TV, but also an opportunity to shift dollars and show TV’s chance to complement Digital advertising. For brand advertisers and their agencies, this provides a perspective on how to optimize their media mix and find the right balance when leveraging both TV and Digital. Financial Services have leaned into Digital for many years and these benchmarks can help uncover some opportunities in their media mix.

For more information on this ThinkTV Canada event, please visit: tv spend, strength & attribution

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the SMI Webinar deck, please contact us using the form below.

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